LAHROE – The future of the staff of Lahore and Islamabad’s Stock Exchanges is bleak after their merger with Karachi Stock Exchange into a single Pakistan Stock Exchange, which is likely to start operation in November end.

The Memorandum of Understanding in this regard has already been signed at Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan last month by the chairmen of respective demutualization committees. The website of Pakistan Stock Exchange has started working.

“The KSE has yet to take a formal approval from its general body and LSE will get consent from its shareholders for the final integration of the country’s three bourses,” LSE Managing Director Aftab Chaudhry told The Nation.

LSE MD termed the scheme of integration a win-win situation for all the stakeholders and a landmark achievement, which would go a long way towards sustainable development of capital market of the country.

Aftab said government was working hard to improve the capital market’s outlook for attracting the direct foreign investment in the country. He appreciated the government’s resolve to create a strong, vibrant and competitive financial and capital market to further strengthen the national economy.

According to experts, three exchanges will take about another one month to finalize modalities and then go back to the SECP for final approval. A number of operational issues will arise once the exchanges begin to carry out the merger, as future of around 250 employees of the LSE and ISE also hangs in balance, which may face forced-retirement or transfer to Karachi. The head-office of the PSE will be in Karachi. Assets of the exchanges, such as their buildings and other physical infrastructure, will be transferred to stand-alone companies that will not have the exchange licences and brokers of the three exchanges will become Trading Right Entitlement Certificate holders of the PSE, which is good for them, as they will have the opportunity to scale up their operations.

Stock market officials said management of Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) is also planning to offer golden handshake package to their staff. However, staff of over 100 people of LSE is very disappointed and upset, as the Lahore Stock Exchange management has not announced any plan in this regard so far. It is also be said that whole staff may be retained as the LSE will continue its operations as a regional office of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, which requires at least half of the workers of the exchange.

After the demutualization process completes the role of LSE as a stock exchange will end. “LSE will start its working with new name of LSE Financial Services Limited. The Lahore Stock Exchange will be converted into an investment bank and to work as corporate financial services it will provide trusteeship services to the companies,” Aftab said.

Aftab has passion of pursuing the companies and attracting them to enlist in the stock market to raise capital. More than 12 companies have been enlisted at the Lahore Stock Exchange during last two years with his efforts and more are coming to become public limited companies.

LSE MD said that several companies are in process for listing at the Lahore bourse including Zic, Prima and Millat Equipment Limited and these will join the LSE within two months period.